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To Wear the Carrion Crown (Group 3) (Inactive)

Game Master Haldhin

Carrion Crown Adventure Path


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Male Half-Orc Wizard (Conjurer) 5 {HP 34/34; AC 15, T 11, FF 14; F+3 R+3 W+6/+8 vs. fear effects; Init+1; Perc+12} {Effects: Mage Armor}
Bjorn Stonehand wrote:
"That girl is trouble", Bjorn says as his hand finds its way onto Gunther's plate.

"And this surprises you?" Korvus chuckles. "She is her father's daughter, after all."

Alexei Dawnreach wrote:
"Looking into those books she mentioned is likely a good first step to getting some insight into what may have happened, or at the very least, why he was so inclined to charge off unprepared."
Gunther Steinhammer wrote:
"Maybe we should talk to this Alendru Ghoroven, if m'lady thinks he could shed some light on her father's recent work."
Gunther Steinhammer wrote:
"You may find the locals aren't too welcoming to orcbloods, Belkzen's just over them hills to the norwest."He looks towards the door Kendra just exited. "Maybe bringin' Ms. Lorrimar might not be a bad idea. Ghoroven and the Professor bein' friends and all."

"I agree. Perhaps we should divide and conquer these tasks. The good people of Ravengro seem to be quite insular. Might I suggest that Masters Dawnreach, Stonehand, and Steinhammer accompany the Lady Kendra to seek out Master Ghoroven, while those of us who appear less... human... remain here and see what we can find out about the Whispering Way?"


M Half-orc Monk (Martial Artist) 5 {HP 43/44; AC16(20), T16, FF13(17); F+7 R+7 W+7; Init+2; Perc+10} {Effects: none}

Not really a morning person, Harold comes to breakfast as the others are already feasting away. He takes two platefuls of food and finds a seat as the questioning of Kendra begins. By the end when Kendra leaves in a hurmph, Harold gives the others a glance, "Took what be'er van I thought she would. But lets not go alienatin' da girl befawer we're done protectin' 'er an' findin' da Prof's killer. She's a grown lass, if she says she don't wan' ter be babied then don't treat 'er like a two year old."

Harold stabs his last sausage with his fork and pops it in his mouth as Bjorn and Oliar start up again about visiting the school teacher, "If 'e was a friend ov da Prof, 'e'll be fine. Not all ov us might be gifted wiv a silver tongue but we can talk civilized-like wiv Mr. Alendru Ghoroven. Thuff if da crowd blockin' da way yesterday is any indicashun, da locals might need some encaaahragemen' ter loosen their jaws on what they know." He wipes the leftover grease from his mouth with a napkin before taking his plates over to the washbin. Harold glances at his fellow half-orc, "I'm abaaaht as useful around books as a cat is around water. Not sure I'd be much good 'ere. I'm sure da local color won't 'old a man's parentage against 'im. If they value their 'ealth, anyway"


Ulfen Cleric 2/Heirophant 1 (HP 29/29; AC:19, T:12, FF:17; Fort:+7 Ref:+3 Will +7; Init+2; Perc+9)
Resources:
Channel Positive 5/8 | Channel Cold 6/6 | Mythic 1/5

Taking another glance at the door Kendra exited, Bjorn stands up from the table.

"I'm going to pay a visit to this Ghoroven and see if he knows anything about the Professor's final days. Anyone that's interested in meeting him right away should come with. We'll bring the girl, but only because it'll be easier to keep an eye on her if she's with us."

Closing on Kendra's room, Bjorn knocks sharply.

"Kendra, get dressed and get whatever you need to go into town. You win. You can come with us for now."

Looking at his own current state of undress, Bjorn returns to his room to gather his things.

Bjorn will be dressed as he was the previous day, in plain tunic, breeches, and boots. He'd rather not draw more attention to himself by moving around the town fully armored.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Oracle of Life 4

Should I roll something for looking around the house for books related to the cult?

"Keep her safe. I hope not to help bury two Lorrimors." Alexei wishes Bjorn and the others luck, before disappearing into one of the house's rooms to search for a relevant book in the Professor's collection.


Kendra's door does not open... How long does Bjorn wait, what does he do when it doesn't open, etc?

Alexei, knowledge checks would be appropriate. Arcana, planes, religion; any subject you think might apply to finding books about cults, and you can make multiple checks - but each check takes 1 hour.


Ulfen Cleric 2/Heirophant 1 (HP 29/29; AC:19, T:12, FF:17; Fort:+7 Ref:+3 Will +7; Init+2; Perc+9)
Resources:
Channel Positive 5/8 | Channel Cold 6/6 | Mythic 1/5

Bjorn pounds on the door again.

"Girl, did you hear me?"

"You'd best not be making a fool of me."

"Kendra?"

If still no response after a minute or so he'll break down the door.

Strength Check 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (14) + 4 = 18


Bjorn:
You break down the door without a problem. Once the debris is out of the way, you are greeted with a vacant room. You also notice the bottom window sash is slightly open.

It has been about 10 minutes since Kendra stormed out of the dining room.


Ulfen Cleric 2/Heirophant 1 (HP 29/29; AC:19, T:12, FF:17; Fort:+7 Ref:+3 Will +7; Init+2; Perc+9)
Resources:
Channel Positive 5/8 | Channel Cold 6/6 | Mythic 1/5

Bjorn rattles off a string of curses going from common, to his native Skald, and back to common again.

Running to his room and retrieving his things, the big Ulfen barely has time to pull his tunic over his head as he barrels towards the front door.

"Kendra's run off. We got to find her before she gets herself into trouble!"

Bjorn is going to chase after Kendra. He's going to circle around to the side of the house that her room is on and look for tracks.

Survial take 10: 10 + 5 = 15


Male Catfolk Rogue (Cat Burglar) 1

Oliar gets on his feet the moment he hears Bjorn utter those words, "We need to get to Ghoroven and to the Pharasman to see if she's there, then the cemetery." He hoped that latter wasn't needed though. It was a disappointing development though, right when he had started to trust the girl. Then again, perhaps she simply still behaved like a silly teen.


M Half-orc Monk (Martial Artist) 5 {HP 43/44; AC16(20), T16, FF13(17); F+7 R+7 W+7; Init+2; Perc+10} {Effects: none}

When the Ulfen rushes by yelling that Kendra has flown the coop, Harold finishes wiping his fingers free of the delicious breakfast before grabbing his jacket and hat from the back of his chair. Putting them on with practiced ease, Harold nods to the others, "G'luck wiv da studyin' today, gents. We'll see what da girl is taken care ov right proper. " The big half-orc rushes toward the door outside, already looking around the area for any signs of the girl or her flight from estate as he steps out into the yard. It wasn't that he didn't think she couldn't take care of herself alright enough in town but the chance whoever targeted the Professor might also have it out for Kendra lends to him helping Bjorn scour the grounds for signs of her passing.

Perception Check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (4) + 6 = 10
Survival Check: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (6) + 2 = 8


Male D Fighter 1

Gunther follows Bjorn and Harold outside, checking the surroundings for anyone who might have seen Kendra leave to inquire which direction the girl left in.

Not sure if house is out in sticks or in suburbs, if no neighboring houses or passersby, he'll wait by the road for the others, thinking the girl has just run off to town to begin an investigation
1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7


Male Human (Chelaxian) Oracle of Life 4

Alexei can only make trained Knowledge (Religion) checks, but he can try and do other checks to find stuff that's DC10, right?

Knowledge (Religion) check 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (11) + 3 = 14
Knowledge (Planes) check 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (11) - 1 = 10
Knowledge (Arcana) check 1d20 - 1 ⇒ (17) - 1 = 16

Alexei hears the others stirring in another room, but focuses on looking through the stacks upon stacks of books to find something relevant. While not overly bright, the man hopes to stumble upon something useful.


As the group rushes outside, they are stopped short by the image of Kendra sitting on a bench beside the front door. She lounges indolently, with one arm stretched across the back and her feet hanging over one side.

She smirks as she sees everyone running out the door, "I was wondering how long it was going to take you... So, we ready to go?"


Ulfen Cleric 2/Heirophant 1 (HP 29/29; AC:19, T:12, FF:17; Fort:+7 Ref:+3 Will +7; Init+2; Perc+9)
Resources:
Channel Positive 5/8 | Channel Cold 6/6 | Mythic 1/5

Bjorn growls and stops to finish strapping his hastily donned boots, straighten his tunic, and adjust his manhood.

"The moment there's trouble, you're going home and staying there", the big Ulfen threatens. "I don't care if I have to tie you down myself."

"Let's go."


Alexei:
It doesn't exactly work like that, but you managed to find something...

You find a couple of interesting details about the Whispering Way:

  • The Whispering Way is a sinister organization of necromancers that has been active in the Inner Sea region for thousands of years.

  • Agents of the Whispering Way often seek alliances with undead creatures, or are themselves undead. The Whispering Way’s most notorious member was Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, although the society itself has existed much longer than even that mighty necromancer.


"Hmmm, we'll see." She hops up and falls into line beside Bjorn, winking at those behind him.


Ulfen Cleric 2/Heirophant 1 (HP 29/29; AC:19, T:12, FF:17; Fort:+7 Ref:+3 Will +7; Init+2; Perc+9)
Resources:
Channel Positive 5/8 | Channel Cold 6/6 | Mythic 1/5

How old is Kendra?

"...why don't you show us the way", the growling Northman says this time very actively watching the defiant Kendra.


Male Half-Orc Wizard (Conjurer) 5 {HP 34/34; AC 15, T 11, FF 14; F+3 R+3 W+6/+8 vs. fear effects; Init+1; Perc+12} {Effects: Mage Armor}

Korvus chuckles to himself as he hears the others discover Kendra waiting for them outside the front door. "Her father's daughter indeed," he murmurs to himself mirthfully.

"Maximus, my good fellow, why don't you go keep an eye on them and let us know if they get into any trouble," the scholarly half-orc suggests to the blackbird perched on his shoulder.

"Aye-aye, Cap'n!" the blackbird tweets cheerfully, bobbing its head respectfully before taking wing and flying out the door to follow the departing group.

"Now, let's see if we can find the good Professor's notes..." Korvus begins searching the bookshelves throughout the house. After a while he calls out, "Master Dawnreach? Have you found anything interesting?"

Knowledge (Arcana) check after 1st hour of searching: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (3) + 10 = 13
Knowledge (Arcana) check after 2nd hour of searching: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (5) + 10 = 15
Knowledge (Arcana) check after 3rd hour of searching: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26


Male Human (Chelaxian) Oracle of Life 4

I would imagine that he wouldn't have found anything yet when they're just leaving.

"Not as yet, comrade, but it is surely only a matter of time and effort. Come, let us keep looking."


Alexei & Korvus:
With the two of you spending three hours, you find several details covering what Alexei found (Korvus, feel free to go read his earlier spoiler), and you also uncover the following information:

  • The Whispering Way itself is a series of philosophies that can only be transferred via whispers — the philosophies are never written or spoken of loudly, making the exact goals and nature of the secretive philosophy difficult for outsiders to learn much about.

  • Exact details on the society are difficult to discern, but chief among the Whispering Way’s goals are discovering formulae for creating liches and engineering the release of the Whispering Tyrant. Agents often travel to remote sites or areas plagued by notorious haunts or undead menaces to perform field research or even to capture unique monsters. Their symbol is a gagged skull, and those who learn too many of the Way’s secrets are often murdered, and their mouths mutilated to prevent their bodies from divulging secrets via speak with dead.


Bjorn, Gunther, Harold, Oliar:
Kendra leads you north into town. The road continues through an area where the road widens into a large circular space with a marble statue of a man holding a cudgel in the center. She takes you past the statue and past a corn field to a neat brown house. Knocking on the door first, she opens it and enters.

As you enter, you see an older half-elf sits behind a oak desk, looking at Kendra over the reading glasses he wears. Smiling, ”Kendra Lorrimor, you are still as beautiful as ever. I am terribly sorry about your father, my dear, you know if you need anything…” He trails off, then turns he head slightly to look at each of you.

”Ah, some of the hearty folk who managed to avoid getting waylaid in the graveyard yesterday.” He stands, slowly, then bows to you. ”From the friends of Petros Lorrimor, thank you for carrying him to his resting place.”

He sits back down with an audible sigh. ”Forgive me, but 120 years is a long time, even for one of my kind.

He looks at everyone again, finally settling on Kendra, ”But you did not come here for a visit with an old half-elf, did you, my dear? No, you want something – go ahead and ask, you know I can’t refuse.”

Kendra smiles and sits down on one of the tables, ”Alendru, we have some questions about my father’s work. Can you help us?”

He doesn’t take his eyes off of her for several seconds before looking over the rest of the group again. Focusing back on her, ”I can, but depending on what you ask, it might place you in more danger than you’ve ever imagined. I think you’ve known for a while that your father wasn’t simply doing research for Lepidstadt, but I’m not sure you really know how dangerous what he did really was…”

He leans back in his chair and steeples his fingers on his desk, ”I can see from your faces you are not deterred. I guess if I cannot turn you from your path, then I will assist you in your journey. Ask your questions, I will answer.”


Ulfen Cleric 2/Heirophant 1 (HP 29/29; AC:19, T:12, FF:17; Fort:+7 Ref:+3 Will +7; Init+2; Perc+9)
Resources:
Channel Positive 5/8 | Channel Cold 6/6 | Mythic 1/5

Bjorn grips the half-elf's hand and shakes it fiercely as introductions are made. He speaks even while trying to divide his attention between the white-furred monster and the troublesome young Kendra.

"The most important thing is the truth. Was the professor's death really an accident or was it something worse", the Ulfen says with emphasis on the final word. "What was this dangerous research that he risked everything for?"


Male Half-Orc Wizard (Conjurer) 5 {HP 34/34; AC 15, T 11, FF 14; F+3 R+3 W+6/+8 vs. fear effects; Init+1; Perc+12} {Effects: Mage Armor}

Alexei & Korvus:
"Oh dear, Master Dawnreach. This is not good..." Korvus says to Alexei once the two peruse all of the Professor's research materials on the Whispering Way, horror evident in his tone. "Did you see that? 'Agents often travel to remote sites or areas plagued by notorious haunts or undead menaces to perform field research or even to capture unique monsters.' And 'those who learn too many of the Way’s secrets are often murdered, and their mouths mutilated to prevent their bodies from divulging secrets via speak with dead.' What if they sought to capture some form of undead creature at the Harrowstone prison, and the Professor tried to stop them? Lady Kendra said that the Professor's face had been crushed by a large piece of masonry. That certainly fits the Whispering Way's modus operandi..." he says, unconsciously slipping into the Gnomish language (Wow! Latin just became the Gnomish language - who knew?) before explaining, "...Their method of operating."

The half-orc scholar glances out the window and notices that most of the morning is gone. "Goodness! I hadn't realized how much time had passed. I hope the others have had some success and return soon. We have much to tell them, and I'm afraid it may not bode well for the town of Ravengro."


Since a majority of the group is here, I'm going to dispense with the spoilers.

Alendru considers Bjorn's questions before responding.

"I honestly don't know if it was an accident or not. My brain says it was, at least, that's what the physical evidence shows. But my gut says it wasn't. I'm old enough to trust my instincts these days, so take that for what it's worth."

"As for his research, he had been focusing on a certain cult dedicated to undeath in all its forms - but especially to the creation of intelligent forms of undead like liches. We've known about them for many decades, but until a few years ago, they were relatively passive. Then suddenly, their agents started moving. People we had been watching for years just disappeared, while new cultists appeared. We were at a loss. Then we got word that they were interested in Harrowstone."

He looks at you solemnly, "I cannot overstate how dire this situation may be - this group has lain in wait for hundreds of years, and now they become active across the country... What are they doing? Why now? How can they be stopped - if they can... This is what Petros was doing, trying to figure out what was going on with them."


Ulfen Cleric 2/Heirophant 1 (HP 29/29; AC:19, T:12, FF:17; Fort:+7 Ref:+3 Will +7; Init+2; Perc+9)
Resources:
Channel Positive 5/8 | Channel Cold 6/6 | Mythic 1/5

"He must have known something..."

"Who else knew about this beyond yourself and the Professor?"

Bjorn watches Kendra to see how she's taking the news of the dangerous things her father was involved in.


From a timing standpoint, it takes Alexei and Korvus two hours to find all the information. The other group should be finished at Alendru's by then unless they choose to do something totally unexpected.


Male Half-Orc Wizard (Conjurer) 5 {HP 34/34; AC 15, T 11, FF 14; F+3 R+3 W+6/+8 vs. fear effects; Init+1; Perc+12} {Effects: Mage Armor}

FYI: Korvus' blackbird followed the others to Ghoroven's house and is perched on a branch outside the window, keeping an eye on the proceedings.


Alendru thinks for a moment, "I can't say for sure, but possibly Sheriff Caeler. I know Petros worked with him several times. Other than that? I can't think of anybody else in Ravengro; possibly some of his friends at the University, but I wouldn't know their names."

As for Kendra:

Sense Motive DC 15:
Kendra is taking the news well, and she seems to have her emotions under control.


Ulfen Cleric 2/Heirophant 1 (HP 29/29; AC:19, T:12, FF:17; Fort:+7 Ref:+3 Will +7; Init+2; Perc+9)
Resources:
Channel Positive 5/8 | Channel Cold 6/6 | Mythic 1/5

Sense Motive - 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (8) + 1 = 9

Bjorn nods and thinks about what he's just learned, waiting to see what questions the others have.


Male Human (Chelaxian) Oracle of Life 4

Alexei & Korvus:
Alexei strokes his beard for a few moments, before nodding deeply to the well-dressed half-orc. "Yes, this very much sounds like the Professor was caught up in something more than he could handle. Certainly, it is our duty to finish what he started." Frowning a bit, he crosses his arms and looks deep in thought. "I cannot say I do not understand Ser Stonehand's want for vengeance... I do not care for this feeling."

Alexei gathers the books they found the information in and brings them to the study, motioning Korvus to follow. Even if the others are not particularly fond of literature, he is certain that having the solid proof will be useful to the group's purposes.


Male Catfolk Rogue (Cat Burglar) 1

Sense Motive 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (18) + 4 = 22

Oliar keeps an eye on both Kendra and the Ulfen through the entire talk. The girl stayed calm, a little too calm for his taste. "What about the church of Pharasma? You'd expect they'd be involved in hunting those cultists down."


Male D Fighter 1

"Were there any strangers in town at the time of the Professor's passing? These cultists had to come from somewhere," Gunthers pauses, gazing around the room."Or they were here to begin with."


M Half-orc Monk (Martial Artist) 5 {HP 43/44; AC16(20), T16, FF13(17); F+7 R+7 W+7; Init+2; Perc+10} {Effects: none}

Harold listens quietly at the back of the room while he examines nothing in particular while his ears absorb everything said. He nods in agreement with the dwarf, "If there is a friend ov dis cult awer even a member still in town, any unusual visitors in da last couple months might poin' 'em out. Regardless, dis cult was doin' somethin' at dis place, Harrowstone, an' da Prof learned a bi' an' all much i' would seem. Has there been any strange lights awer noises comin' from Harrowstone in da last couple weeks? Owt at all ter denote they are still workin' aaaht ov i' awer what they 'ave moved on? What kind ov place is dis Harrowstone?"

Sense Motive Check: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (6) + 6 = 12


Quote:
Oliar keeps an eye on both Kendra and the Ulfen through the entire talk. The girl stayed calm, a little too calm for his taste. "What about the church of Pharasma? You'd expect they'd be involved in hunting those cultists down."

Alendru regards Oliar and points as he speaks, ”That is an excellent point, and yes, the faithful of Pharasma are one of this cult’s fiercest enemies. But there are two problems: 1) this cult is extremely secretive; they have not survived for this long by luck alone, and 2) specifically in Ravengro, our church is small and primarily dedicated to maintaining The Restlands. Father Grimburrow has probably heard of the cult, but I doubt he knows much about them beyond their basic association with creatures of undeath.”

Quote:
"Were there any strangers in town at the time of the Professor's passing? These cultists had to come from somewhere," Gunthers pauses, gazing around the room."Or they were here to begin with."

”I couldn’t say if there were strangers in town or not, but I would be very surprised to learn about cultists here in town. Most of the folk here are superstitious, and some are more daft than the mules they use to plow their fields, but cultists? I’m fairly certain we would know.

But anyway, as you might imagine, a school isn’t exactly a hotbed of respite for travellers, so I don’t really see anybody when they pass through Ravengro. Sarianna Vai runs The Outward Inn, and Zokar Elkarid owns The Laughing Demon. Either or both of them would probably know more about strange folk moving around than I would.”

Quote:
Harold listens quietly at the back of the room while he examines nothing in particular while his ears absorb everything said. He nods in agreement with the dwarf, "If there is a friend ov dis cult awer even a member still in town, any unusual visitors in da last couple months might poin' 'em out. Regardless, dis cult was doin' somethin' at dis place, Harrowstone, an' da Prof learned a bi' an' all much i' would seem. Has there been any strange lights awer noises comin' from Harrowstone in da last couple weeks? Owt at all ter denote they are still workin' aaaht ov i' awer what they 'ave moved on? What kind ov place is dis Harrowstone?"

The old half-elf smiles, ”Well, to hear the children tell it, Harrowstone is full of werewolves and vampires, who wait inside the walls for bad little kids who disobey their parents! Some adults still believe it’s haunted, and stories make the rounds from time to time about strange lights, or ghostly images. So is it haunted? Maybe. But if it is, we haven’t ever had any problems like that in Ravengro, so whatever it is must remain around the prison grounds. ”

”What I do know is it is a desolate and disturbing place. The fire destroyed a good part of the building, even the underground sections, and it’s not safe for exploring. There are a number of human remains still inside, and there is no telling what might have been drawn to such a tragedy. My guess is the dangers would be more natural than anything, creatures making a new lair, maybe bats and rats? ”

”I tell you what, if you’re interested I’ll get one of my associates to open the Town Hall library for you. They normally don’t allow just anybody in there, but I think I’ll call in a favor for you. Whoever goes in would have to do the research themselves, but if there is anything of interest to be found, it would be located there.”


Ulfen Cleric 2/Heirophant 1 (HP 29/29; AC:19, T:12, FF:17; Fort:+7 Ref:+3 Will +7; Init+2; Perc+9)
Resources:
Channel Positive 5/8 | Channel Cold 6/6 | Mythic 1/5

"It might be that we have to search the place ourselves", Bjorn says at the mention of Harrowstone.

At the mention of the library, the big Ulfen looks disinterested but nods to Kendra.

"I'm not one for books but I know a couple of friends of the Professor that might be interested. Let's go see what they've learned."

Bjorn will return to the estate with Kendra in tow.


Kendra thanks Alendru profusely, giving the man a light peck on the cheek before inviting him for dinner in the near future. She follows Bjorn out the door, somewhat more docile than expected.

Are Oliar, Gunther, and Harold also returning to the house?


Male D Fighter 1

"Thank you for your information Mr. Ghoroven," Gunther says, rising. "Before we go, this Outward Inn and Lauging Demon, what sort of reputation do they have, what sort might frequent them?"


M Half-orc Monk (Martial Artist) 5 {HP 43/44; AC16(20), T16, FF13(17); F+7 R+7 W+7; Init+2; Perc+10} {Effects: none}

Harold tips his hat in thanks to Mr. Ghoroven as he follows Bjorn and Kendra out of the building. On the walk back to Kendra's place, Harold thinks aloud, "So a 'aun'ed prison an' a cult ov necromancers. Sounds like a recipe fer dark times. A pi'y da Prof got tangled up in da middle ov whatever is goin' down cause now we're gonna 'ave ter knock a few 'eads around until we get ter da bottom ov dis mystery."


Alendru rises as you all begin to depart, "Well, Master Steinhammer, both are nice enough. Locals and visitors both can be found in the Demon, it's pleasant, but it can get rowdy if enough ale gets served. As for the Outward Inn, mainly just visitors. Ravengro isn't on a major trade route, but we have people who are moving to the western border of Ustalav, and some people traveling to visit the Lake. Both are respectable though, we've got too many hardworking farmers around here for anything more... unsavory."

His reference to the "Lake" is Lake Lias to the north. It is the second largest lake in the country and feeds into the Vistear River.


Male Half-Orc Wizard (Conjurer) 5 {HP 34/34; AC 15, T 11, FF 14; F+3 R+3 W+6/+8 vs. fear effects; Init+1; Perc+12} {Effects: Mage Armor}

Please forgive me if I'm taking too many liberties by moving things along...

As Kendra and her entourage of bodyguards return to the manor, a small blackbird flies through the door and alights on Korvus' shoulder, twittering merrily.

"Ah good, you've returned!" Korvus exclaims, looking up from the book he was examining within the foyer. "I hope your meeting with Master Ghoroven was as fruitful as our research here. Master Dawnreach and I uncovered quite a bit of information regarding these Whispering Way cultists, and I'm afraid it's as bad as we feared. But come - Master Dawnreach and I took the liberty of setting out a light lunch in anticipation of your return. Let's all have a seat and we can share what we learned."

Once everyone is seated and served, Korvus summarizes the information Alexei and he discovered:

• The Whispering Way is a sinister organization of necromancers that has been active in the Inner Sea region for thousands of years.

• Agents of the Whispering Way often seek alliances with undead creatures, or are themselves undead. The Whispering Way’s most notorious member was Tar-Baphon, the Whispering Tyrant, although the society itself has existed much longer than even that mighty necromancer.

• The Whispering Way itself is a series of philosophies that can only be transferred via whispers — the philosophies are never written or spoken of loudly, making the exact goals and nature of the secretive philosophy difficult for outsiders to learn much about.

• Exact details on the society are difficult to discern, but chief among the Whispering Way’s goals are discovering formulae for creating liches and engineering the release of the Whispering Tyrant. Agents often travel to remote sites or areas plagued by notorious haunts or undead menaces to perform field research or even to capture unique monsters. Their symbol is a gagged skull, and those who learn too many of the Way’s secrets are often murdered, and their mouths mutilated to prevent their bodies from divulging secrets via speak with dead.

"So our fear," the gentlemanly half-orc concludes, "Is that cultists of the Whispering Way sought to capture some form of undead creature at the Harrowstone prison, and that the Professor discovered their plot and tried to stop them. Forgive me, Lady Kendra, but you said that the Professor's face was crushed by a large piece of masonry - that would certainly prevent anyone from learning what happened to him via magicks to speak with the dead, which fits the Whispering Way's methods."


No problem here

Kendra enters the house and smiles as she sees the lunch already made. Listening closely, she narrows her eyes as Korvus details his last point.

"Interesting. And yes, father's face was crushed, so it seems to fit their methods. But when the Sheriff found him, he didn't have any other injuries or wounds. If the falling block didn't kill him, what did?"

Feel free to roll Spellcraft, Kn: arcana, Kn: nature, other checks may also be applicable


Male Half-Orc Wizard (Conjurer) 5 {HP 34/34; AC 15, T 11, FF 14; F+3 R+3 W+6/+8 vs. fear effects; Init+1; Perc+12} {Effects: Mage Armor}

Korvus adjusts the pince-nez perched on his nose and ponders Kendra's question.

Knowledge (arcana) check: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (12) + 10 = 22


Male Human (Chelaxian) Oracle of Life 4

Alexei coughs into his hand, looking vaguely uncomfortable. "I think this may not quite be the best topic for a meal. Shall we eat?" The man smiles and gestures to the table.


Ulfen Cleric 2/Heirophant 1 (HP 29/29; AC:19, T:12, FF:17; Fort:+7 Ref:+3 Will +7; Init+2; Perc+9)
Resources:
Channel Positive 5/8 | Channel Cold 6/6 | Mythic 1/5

"You think he was killed by magic?"

The big Ulfen visibly shudders at the thought.


Korvus:
There are several spells and/or "magical" abilities that could have resulted in his death without leaving physical evidence. Unfortunately, without more information, it would be impossible to identify a specific cause.

Kendra nods at Alexei, "My apologies, I did not mean to cause everyone to wait on their meal!" She reaches down and begins eating.

As Bjorn asks his questions, she gulps down a large bite, "I don't know what could have caused it. But with what they found, and the lack of another cause... I think we have to ask the question..."


Male Half-Orc Wizard (Conjurer) 5 {HP 34/34; AC 15, T 11, FF 14; F+3 R+3 W+6/+8 vs. fear effects; Init+1; Perc+12} {Effects: Mage Armor}
DM Haldhin wrote:
"Interesting. And yes, father's face was crushed, so it seems to fit their methods. But when the Sheriff found him, he didn't have any other injuries or wounds. If the falling block didn't kill him, what did?"
Bjorn Stonehand wrote:
"You think he was killed by magic?"
DM Haldhin wrote:
"I don't know what could have caused it. But with what they found, and the lack of another cause... I think we have to ask the question..."

"Indeed. In fact, there are several spells and/or 'magical' abilities that could have resulted in his death without leaving physical evidence. Unfortunately, it would be impossible to identify a specific cause without more information," Korvus responds to Kendra and Bjorn's questions.


Ulfen Cleric 2/Heirophant 1 (HP 29/29; AC:19, T:12, FF:17; Fort:+7 Ref:+3 Will +7; Init+2; Perc+9)
Resources:
Channel Positive 5/8 | Channel Cold 6/6 | Mythic 1/5

Bjorn continues but is still shaken by the idea of being killed by magic.

"Should we journey into Harrowstone then? Do you think anyone in town will know more about this death-magic?"


Male Half-Orc Wizard (Conjurer) 5 {HP 34/34; AC 15, T 11, FF 14; F+3 R+3 W+6/+8 vs. fear effects; Init+1; Perc+12} {Effects: Mage Armor}

"Before we mount an expedition to the ruins of Harrowstone, it may behoove us to learn more about the prisoners who were incarcerated within the prison and what happened there in order to determine what exactly the Whispering Way's agents were seeking," Korvus replies to Bjorn's question. "Was Master Ghoroven able to shed any light on the subject?" he asks.


Ulfen Cleric 2/Heirophant 1 (HP 29/29; AC:19, T:12, FF:17; Fort:+7 Ref:+3 Will +7; Init+2; Perc+9)
Resources:
Channel Positive 5/8 | Channel Cold 6/6 | Mythic 1/5

"I'm afraid not. He suggested talking to the sheriff", Bjorn says. "He may know a bit about Harrowstone's history. Do you think he can be trusted?"


Male Catfolk Rogue (Cat Burglar) 1

Did the Ulfen just conveniently "forget" about their access to the Town Hall library? "We don't have to ask the sheriff. Ghoroven opened up the Town Hall library for us. Should be in the books there." He had been right to keep an eye on the Ulfen, there definitely was something fishy going on with him.

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